Hidden is an interactive audio experience that challenges people to walk in someone else’s shoes and explore their lives. The series has been written and created by the Johnny Barlow Theatre company, which is based at the Guide Bridge Theatre in Audenshaw, East Manchester. The group, who worked alongside Paul Hine and Andy Smith at Made by Mortals, includes people who have experienced mental health illnesses and learning disabilities. They use musical theatre performance to improve their own well-being and support social change.
In the first episode you will discover Richard and his lockdown story. Richard is 70; he has a heart condition, diabetes, and a mental health condition. You will discover things about Richard’s life before Covid-19 and during his time in social isolation. You will also learn he has become a victim of financial exploitation. Richard is a fictional character, devised by the company using their skills, imagination and lived experience as inspiration.
Story Publishing created the sound design for the series, alongside Micky Curling from Mix Broadcast. We edited the audio and created and sourced the sound effects to bring the stories to life. The result is a visceral and powerful journey into the experience of people behind closed doors. Sound is used sparingly, leaving the listener to become absorbed in what is quite a challenging experience. Hidden uses the listener’s own home as a theatrical backdrop. It has been made using equipment people have had available.
“Made By Mortals’ work is about bringing people’s experiences to life. With Suzi’s creativity and understanding of the podcast world, we have been able to share lockdown stories from those who are most vulnerable. Suzi understands the stories we want to tell and who we want to share them with. She is meticulous in her editing and always willing to work with us until we are 100% happy with the finished product.”Andy Smith, artistic director, Made By Mortals